friday favorites – april 24.

So today is Friday, which means TOMORROW I board a plane and head off to Hawaii with 2 of my close girlfriends and one of their hubby’s. AHHHH! This trip snuck up so fast, granted I know we only booked it 2 weeks ago. All of that being said, I have a suitcase that still needs packing, toes that need painting, and a whole lot of planning that needs to happen in 24 hours, so this Friday Favorites will be a little different! Today I want to ask YOU to share with ME your Friday Favorites! I have had a list going for too long of things that I would love to hear that other’s love, so please, take this week to go through this list and pick an item or two (or all!!) and comment below with what your favorite is! (Or as always, you are welcome to email me at trialsbringjoy (at) gmail (dot) com.) I can’t wait to hear what you have to share!

  • Favorite Mascara – I feeling like I can never find something that doesn’t flake too quickly but still adds volume. Whatcha got!?
  • Favorite Book (fiction) – What’s a great book that you have read recently? I need some new authors!
  • Favorite Book (non-fiction) – What are you reading that is teaching you a lot? I love Christian growth books and am starting to wind down on my to-read list. Build it back up!
  • Favorite TV Show to Netflix – I am planning on starting on season 1 of Scandal on the plane tomorrow, as I have heard so many things about how good this show is. That being said, I know there have to be other network tv shows that I have completely missed out on. Share what’s good! (And nothing too racy or profane please!)
  • Favorite Grilling Recipe – We just pulled our grill out for the season and I can’t WAIT to cook on it every night! What’s a favorite recipe you have where you just need the grill? A side? A main dish? Send anything over!
  • Favorite Essential Oil Combo – I know there are a lot of you out there who use Young Living Oils (or another brand). I adore diffusing mine and am always looking for a great, refreshing mix. I have been mixing orange + peppermint all week and am crushing on that big time. What do you like to mix!?
  • Favorite Meme – I am always looking for new funnies to include! Be sure to email me hilarious ones you come across!
  • Favorite Game – Josh and I like to play games at night and we are a little Yam-Slammed, Phase 10, and Golf-ed out. What’s another easy and fun card game we could learn?

SOOOO excited to hear what you guys come up with and share!

On a celebratory note …. guess who turned NINE on Monday!? Our sweet little Cali girl! NINE! I know. *faints*. I was feeling nervous as that number continues to creep up and took her in to the vet this week for an annual check-up, just to make sure things are looking good. GREAT NEWS! She’s a rock star and beyond healthy, so this Mama (and Dad!) are feeling super relieved to know she’s “in her prime” and has a long long life ahead of her still.

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Okay and I can’t leave you without some funnies!!

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Other than a Guest Blog post next week, I won’t be around too much on here which on vacation, however, I can’t wait to check back with you when I return! Until then, this girl is about to get her beach on in the gorgeous island of Kauai.

Me ka aloha pumehana! (Yeah, no I have no clue what this means, Google just told me it’s appropriate for a goodbye statement.)

friday favorites – april 17.

Whoa what a week! A fun week, but a busy week! It’s so hard to pick favorites when EVERYTHING was so much fun! I will do my best to filter best I can and save some other highlights for more stories another time. Love weeks like this. Perhaps it’s just that it is sunny and beautiful outside too? I swear everyday feels like a happy day when you don’t have to brush snow off your car.

Let’s go!

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Favorite Moment: Josh and I had a date night this week to see Damien Rice in concert and let’s just say it was amazing. I have been a fan of his music for ages and his concert didn’t disappoint. The whole show was him + his guitar + pedals. It was super scaled down, just the basics of music and his voice and he crushed it. I leaned over to Josh after the first song started and whispered “I’m going to cry!” to which he replied “Yeah? So what’s that now? 8 concerts in a row?” (I always get super emotional and cry at concerts. This doesn’t phase him.) Ha! But really it just goes to show you that music touches my heart in a crazy way. I know those who don’t have that kind of relationship with music might be shrugging right now and think I’m crazy and that’s totally okay. But really, the whole show was like being in a spiritual emotional bubble. Loved every minute.

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Favorite Lyric Line: The opening act for Damien Rice was a duo and truthfully I don’t know too much about them other than they were called Galagalactic and European, with rich, beautiful, heavy accent. It was all about the music and it was haunting and memorizing. Many of the songs didn’t have lyrics but one did and I love what I caught “The spiral goes both ways – should I climb or should I fall?” I loved the analogy of a spiral. To go higher, you have to crawl upwards, uphill, often feeling like you are moving in a repetitive motion, but you are going higher. The other option is walking down, deeper, easier on your legs as you let gravity help your decline, but when you go downwards, it gets darker, deeper, further from the top. I love the question posed – should I climb or should I fall? I think we all have this question to answer every day as we battle in our own lives – should we climb or should we fall? Life can go two ways, the spiral gives us options. What will we chose? (I wish I could find anything on this band because I would love for you to hear them but they barely seem to exist even on the internet.)

Favorite Surprise: My Grandpa Tedd surprised me with this travel guide for my Hawaii trip (8 days!!!). I had been doing research on good guide books and was shocked when he pulled it out! He was so thoughtful to go and pick it up and it has been a gigantic help to us in planning on stay. Thank you Grandpa Tedd for this kind and thoughtful gesture!

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Favorite Celebration: SO MANY CELEBRATIONS, I can’t just pick one! On Friday we celebrated my Nana’s 76th birthday with a big elaborate dinner at my mom’s house (which was amazing, as always!). We are so thankful that we were able to celebrate her life around the table, sharing how special she is to us. The dinner table held lots of laughs as well as we shared favorite birthday memories or confessions from our childhoods. Even Cali wanted to get in on the celebration fun.

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On Saturday I popped over to one of my best friends daughter’s 6th birthday parties and had so much fun celebrating with the kiddos and their moms. Can I just say everyone in life should watch a bunch of kids under 10 try to hit a pinata? It made my month. Hysterical!!!!!

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Cali's friends Mallory and Chloe even made sure she had some goodies from the party - a new collar (made from pipe cleaners HA!) and a felt chew toy. :) She felt loved.

Cali’s friends Mallory and Chloe even made sure she had some goodies from the party – a new collar (made from pipe cleaners HA!) and a felt chew toy. :) She felt loved.

Sunday brought in the Master’s, of which I only watch in order to eat our burger bar (a tradition set in honor of my golf and burger loving Grandpa) and for the chance to win the Masters pool, haha! In general, watching golf drives me bonkers but I actually enjoyed myself and had a blast hosting! Since Phil Mickelson was in my pool and the only one who had a chance really, I turned my house into a Go Phil! party, which I don’t think my guests were on board with. Ha! My Nana made the best oven fries and Josh grilled some killer burgers. My sister ended up winning with Jordan Spieth on her team, but Phil came in second place and that was fun. It’s not at all about the money though as much as it is having lots of laughs and cheering and egging each other on.

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I mean, come on, if you walk in under this banner, you HAVE to attend a "go phil" party. :)

I mean, come on, if you walk in under this banner, you HAVE to attend a “go phil” party. :)

And lastly, one more celebration I am looking forward to later tonight – celebrating my youngest niece Kinsley’s 3rd birthday together with a pre-birthday party! Josh and I are having our nieces over for a fun night of making homemade pizzas, dragging blankets and pillows out into the living room, picking a movie and spending time together. Kins is such a sweet and special little girl and we can’t wait to celebrate her. Love that munchkin so much!

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Favorite Recipe: In attempts to clean some half-used fridge items this week, I whipped together a yummy ham salad! Just have to share:

1/2 lb thin cut black forest ham (I love the Columbus brand as it’s gluten free with 0% MSG …. and also because you can get it at the Target deli counter)

1/2 cup (or so, start with less) mayonnaise

1-2 hard boiled eggs

1/2 – 3/4 cup sweet pickles (I ADORE the organic bread and butter pickles from Costco!)

a few green onions (optional)

Cut your ham into small chunks and throw it in a food processor. Chop it up finely and then add it to your bowl. In the same food processor, toss in your hard boiled eggs, cut into smaller pieces so it goes faster and your pickles (drained). Chop till similar size as ham. Add to your ham and then mix with mayonnaise. You may want more/less mayo so add in small amounts. Serve on a lettuce wrap or on crackers, also delicious on rye bread. Top with green onion rounds if you’d like! Delish!

Favorite Snap: Can I just say that Cali doesn’t always want to take pictures? This snap chat pic from earlier this week cracks me up. She was not interested in taking a picture with her mom. Glare city! HA!

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Favorite Funnies:

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Alright friends, hope you have an awesome weekend! I’ll leave you with this reminder I read in my notes from Storyline: “Stop stalking Jesus. It’s time to stop observing Him and His life and start interacting.” I pray that this weekend is more than just another set of busy days. I pray that this weekend brings you the chance to meet Jesus even closer, spend some time with Him and continue to live a life of interaction. Jesus isn’t just a Facebook acquaintance we watch from a distance. His ways, His words and His character should be far more known to us. So let’s go and seize the day and see what He has to show us! Sound good? XOXO!